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ESPN on gay support in professional sports

Timothy Kincaid

May 13th, 2011

Pro Hockey player Sean Avery, arguably the biggest jerk in professional sports, recorded an advertisement in support of New York’s same-sex marriage campaign. A father-son team of agents stood up for “real marriage” (as opposed to man-man or man-horse marriage) assuming that this was surely the more accepted position in the world of hockey. ESPN’s Johnette Howard looked at the fallout.

It’s hard to gauge who did more to advance the cause of legalizing gay marriage in the past week — New York Rangers forward Sean Avery (the first pro athlete to publicly support New Yorkers for Marriage Equality), or the father-and-son sports agent team of Don and Todd Reynolds, whose swift attacks of Avery’s stance caused a remarkable thing to happen. The Reynolds’ reactions caused thousands of other people to step forward and out themselves as gay rights supporters, too, in a louder, longer show of support for Avery on Twitter and Facebook, radio and TV, in blogs and newspapers and sports fan message boards than Avery’s appearance in a video advertisement for the marriage equality campaign might have generated on its own.

Perhaps it’s time to put to pasture all of the presumptions about sports and homophobia being inextricably related.

Comments

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tavdy79
May 15th, 2011 | LINK

Some of the most influential figures in the campaign for gay rights at the moment are current or former pro athletes, and not all of them are gay: Ben Cohen has recently announced he’s retiring from professional rugby to focus on combatting bullying, for example.

Everett
May 15th, 2011 | LINK

I think ESPN deserves more credit these days as a progressive organization. Remember the Erin Andrews video incident? ESPN was out there looking out for her when that creepy stalker posted a video of her online.

Brittany Correa
June 9th, 2011 | LINK

I have started a petition which asks The New York Liberty of the WNBA to join in on the “It Gets Better campaign. Please check it out! Thank you!
http://www.change.org/petitions/ask-the-new-york-liberty-to-make-an-it-gets-better-video/

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